2 Philadelphia women face charges of animal cruelty

Posted: July 16, 2010

Animal cruelty investigators are preparing charges against two city women accused this week in some of the largest hoarding cases in recent memory.

George Bengal, director of law enforcement for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said he expects cruelty charges against Olga Federov, of Olney. Officials seized 90 animals from her house on Tuesday, including dogs, cats, chinchillas and pigeons.

A South Philadelphia woman, not yet identified, will be charged in connection with keeping an astounding 85 Chihuahuas and Chihuahua-mix dogs at her home on Earp Street near 8th, Bengal said. Two cats and two dead dogs also were found there in a raid Wednesday, he said.

Bengal said that the South Philly woman, who is 59 and on disability, used to be a Chihuahua breeder, but "was overwhelmed."

"She hasn't sold them in a number of years. That's why the numbers have grown," he said. "There were dogs in every room of the property."

Several feet of feces coated the floors of the three-story house, and the dogs were covered with it, Bengal said.

He said charges against both women will involve unsanitary conditions. The animals were being examined to determine if they had received proper medical care, he said.

All of the South Philadelphia dogs were infected with fleas, he said.

The Chihuahuas were being kept at the PSPCA headquarters, at 350 E. Erie Ave., and some were doubled up in cages, said PSPCA spokeswoman Liz Williamson.

Bengal said "a lot" of animal-rescue organizations are working to place the dogs. Other animals would be temporarily housed in foster homes, Williamson said.

Bengal said animals rescued from the home of Federov, 59, who described herself as a laid-off computer software employee, included 53 cats, eight dogs, the chinchillas and eight street pigeons.

Dead animals, including a fox Federov said had been hit by a car, were taken from a freezer. She said she was keeping them until they could be picked up by the city.

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